Monthly Archives: October 2010

Wrapping it up

This morning I got an email from someone who has been reading the blog but not commenting, and she said it all so succinctly that I just want to put her words here: “Seems like it was the perfect trip … Continue reading

Posted in Lesotho, South Africa | 2 Comments

Saying goodbye

“Saying goodbye,” Palesa said as we walked her to the taxi that would take her and Katleho from Oliver Tambo airport back to the shack village in Daveyton where they live, “is always hard. But what are we gonna do? … Continue reading

Posted in Lesotho | 27 Comments

Back in Portland

Jet-lagged, exhausted, bedbug-bitten, sunburned, and deeply happy. I am so glad I did that. I have pages and pages of notes, stories, and lives. There are over a thousand pictures, most of which I haven’t even seen yet. I am … Continue reading

Posted in Lesotho, South Africa | 10 Comments


Cannot access my email, but at least I could reach the blog (after half an hour of trying). Ramabanta is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on earth. It RAINED, which made everyone ecstatic. Made these notes in my … Continue reading

Posted in Lesotho | 7 Comments

Back in Lesotho

It has just taken me 32 minutes to open the “Add New Post” page, and there are “errors on the page,” so I don’t know if anything at all will post. Back in Roma, the light trawls long shadows over … Continue reading

Posted in Lesotho | 9 Comments

Imagination and racism

For years I have wanted–but have been unable–to write to my own satisfaction about life in southern Africa. As a writer and an outsider, I constantly wrestle with moral issues: my own blindness, curiosity, lack of understanding, white privilege; my … Continue reading

Posted in South Africa | 16 Comments

Pendent le deluge

The deluge continued through the night, and we hope Lesotho continues to receive it. Rain pounded on our windows and on the beach and on the waves. Water everywhere. When we got sun-breaks, we dashed out for ocean air and … Continue reading

Posted in South Africa | 6 Comments

Antjie Krog’s poem

I have been reading Antjie Krog, and this poem seems to have been written for me, for M’e Mpho, and for all of us who stick our dying noses up into the plums:

Posted in South Africa | 3 Comments

Scottburgh, South Africa

We are here, and the Indian Ocean is cleaner, fiercer, windier, lonelier, and more glorious than I could remember, even in my deepest reveries. It’s off-season, and we have the whole sea to ourselves. Two stray fishermen (hours apart), a … Continue reading

Posted in South Africa | 17 Comments

On the road!

We’re in Ladysmith, South Africa, at the Crown Hotel (R920 for two rooms, two single beds each).¬† The jacarandas are still blooming, and the little town is bursting with Zulu people and language. Tumisang, 21, is in heaven. “It’s my … Continue reading

Posted in South Africa | 18 Comments